Idahosa who represents Ovia Federal Constituency, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that almost on daily basis, Nigerians in the diaspora were detained illegally, exploited physically and psychologically.
He said many had been exploited sexually, discriminated against and made to live in inhuman conditions.
He stressed that the Federal Government needed to protect Nigerians in the diaspora because they contribute their quota to the development of the country.
“Nigerians are in almost all countries of the world making exploits in sports, technology, business, education and politics and have been ranked as some of the best educated immigrants.
“It was as a result of their large population that the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission was established to provide for the engagement and participation of Nigerians in the diaspora in the development of Nigeria.
“In spite of this, it has now become a daily issue to hear of sad stories of ill-treatment being meted on Nigerians in their countries of residence abroad.
“These Nigerians also play their roles in the economic development of Nigeria.
“World Bank data in 2018 showed that the Nigerian diaspora remittance was 24.31 billion dollars. In 2019, it dropped to 23.81billion dollars and in 2020; it fell to 17.21 billion dollars.
“Remittance inflow represented 4 per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2020,’’ he said.
The law maker added that “Nigerians are being held in various prisons abroad without fair trial.
“From a 2019 survey by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), about 16,500 Nigerians who are in prisons outside the country were convicted without legal representation and not knowing why they were jailed,’’ he said.
LEDAP is a non-profit, non-governmental organisation of lawyers and law professionals engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria.
It was established in 1997 and has observer status with the Africa Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“This is the reason I raised the motion on the floor of the House on the need to among other things, ascertain the number of Nigerians being detained in foreign prisons.
“The Federal Government needs to employ diplomatic means to assist these Nigerians who were wrongly convicted and are being detained in various prisons abroad, ‘’ Idahosa stressed.